On Becoming

There was a moment (okay, I have had many moments) but this time, I was having a thoughtful conversation with one of my dearest walking companion.  She was playing the role that I have grown accustomed to; the listener.  The one who seems to show me compassion and support but with a rigid playing card in her hand.  She had nothing to offer to soften my questions and I got mad at her and chose to tell her just what I thought of her assignment she shoved in my hands.  Those who know me have heard me say many times that Life gave me an assignment I certainly would not have accepted had I been asked.  So here is my rant at my beloved walking companion.  She has many names for many people, however, for me, she is known by the name, “Life”.  We have come a long way.  Our love/hate relationship has become a mutual respect for each other.  She has given me the opportunity to feel vulnerability, humility, compassion and resiliency; confusion, complexity and navigating tools to find the light again.  This is my journey to becoming…..

“On Becoming” 

Okay, I said it.
I don’t trust you.
I thought I did.
I leaned into the unknown, the uncertainty, the upside down-ness of it all.
I surrendered, studied how to live life on life’s terms – I fell, I got up, I spoke up and I did all this magnificently well despite what they thought.
I did what was asked of me.
I played small.  I played big.  I took risks and listened to wisdom.
I threw down the shields, the swords, and the falseness and I stood naked.
I showed my flaws, my wounds…I shut up, I spoke up, and choked down the urge to defend my position.
I never said anything against you.  I never felt you did anything “to me” but only “for” me.

I felt you beside me until….
Until I got exhausted from doing and trying.
I looked at those who say they are by my side;
I felt the eggshells that broke under my weight.
I looked the other way, practiced forgiveness, and what sprang up was a new bouquet of self-righteousness and judgement.  And I hated what I was holding.

I lost it today.
I broke.
I spoke from that brokenness – in the face of what should be gratitude.
I shared with another.
I chose to be real and to wail – to speak what needed to be released; that I am still expecting from others what they cannot give.
I thought if I played to the best of my ability to do, think, speak on the level that would bring favor in your eyes, that just maybe I’d get a reprieve….
I lost trust that I could care.
I don’t care anymore.

I lost it today.  I sobbed for myself.
I am afraid.
I don’t know what to do with what I am supposed to do.
I just don’t know what to do.

I spoke with a soul sister.
She suggested I step back and just rest in it.
She said that this is the slow process of accepting those things about myself.
That it doesn’t mean the things I don’t like about myself will go away, that I will accept the good and the bad – all of me.

This is the edge of what surrender looks like.
It is different from its’ shadow, “giving up”.
There is something rare, raw and vulnerable in surrendering.
This is not easy, nor is it comfortable and it is certainly not enjoyable.

So here I am.
The edge.
If I peer over too far, I feel something might push me…without my permission.
Without my permission-yes, I know that one.
The deepest, darkest, the greatest fear is in that bottom I cannot see.
That bottom justifies life’s bullshit with a sweetness that is intoxicating.
I feel it’s calling – the false, the lies and betrayal is in its voice…
That voice has become stronger, more fierce…..has taken up more space than it should; filling the crowded corners with overwhelming layers of not enough and all those should have been’s…..

But I have grown stronger as well.
I have turned my body to face the uncertainty-to see and feel and hear just what is calling my name and it isn’t down there-its up there-in the light, the breeze, on silent wings….
In the process of dropping falseness and masks; courage, resilience and hope held up their arms to ward off what wants to claim as theirs.

Theirs……
Yours……
I have outgrown what served so well for so long and this newness is not asking more of what I am-rather-it is asking me to be exactly what I am.
I thought I stopped caring and trusting-but I haven’t….
I have been involved in the unwrapping-the unfolding, the undoing of careful assembly work for decades….

It is not you that I don’t trust.
It is me.
I don’t know how to trust all that I know to be – the natural, authentic.. the me.
My imaginary fears are just as real as real is real.
And that makes no sense and all sense…..

I said it.
I don’t trust me.
to stand long-term in my vulnerability.  The “what if’s” are intent on tangling me up.
It has nothing to do with you.
It has everything to do with me….
I take that back, God.  I do trust you – I am just scared that I will fall and be lost.
That I will be lost in the uncertainty and the belonging I yearn for and fight against.

However, I am willing to be willing to stay open; to learn what being off-balance feels like so I stand in that space that frightens me so.
I am willing to question with curiosity; to soften the details of my story; to lean into what is being offered as “life embellishments”.
Okay, I said it.
I am willing because….I am still standing…and this is one amazing reason to continue staying open and trusting the journey.

Written by Beth D’Angelo, 2018

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